Sara Keating on theatre: How Ireland’s National Theatre is embracing the idea of an all-island cultural identity

Over its 118 years, the Abbey Theatre has reflected Irish society through its art and it continues to do so today, with its newly appointed directors embracing an all-Ireland approach

The Abbey Theatre: over its 118-year history, a variety of questions about the role of a national theatre have arisen

Having just celebrated St Patrick’s Day, it is worth thinking about what we mean when we talk of a “national culture”. Since the very start of Irish independence, theatre has been at the forefront of interrogating and defining notions of Irishness.

The foundation of the Abbey Theatre in 1904 was a seminal moment. For the next two decades it would stage the cultural revolution that was so critical for mobilising political rebellion in 1916 and ...